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Wind Slab!!!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Skied at Loveland today off of their chair eight. We dropped off to the skier's left into a bowl that must be at the far east edge of the ski area. I was with a group of good skiers including my boss who is a RM examiner. It was not easy skiing.

We skied all morning in/on wind slab that had perhaps six to ten inches of soft snow underneath. I have very little experience in this kind of conditions. We all would remain on top until the apex of a turn and then you would break through the stuff. I was on the wrong kind of ski.(160 cm short slalom)I mainly attempted a little retraction to get out of the snow. I was waiting for someone to tear an ACL.

Any tips or ideas. I'm worn out tonight
post #2 of 8
Don't do a little retraction, do a lot of retraction--so you're lighter and don't break through.

Then with your extension--push your feet forward so that they release out of the crust. You will have to launch your hips forward and to the inside to catch up.

If it's really nasty, you may have to multi-hop through the turn. It ain't fun. But if you survive it you can be a local hero.

What move was your boss doing? Who is it?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 30, 2002 05:57 AM: Message edited 1 time, by weems ]</font>
post #3 of 8
A short shaped slalom definitely works against you in windslab, but since you must dance with whom you brung, consider trying the following. Tall stance, light touch, low matching edge angles. THink of gently slapping the slow rather than karate chopping it. I love windslab!
post #4 of 8
Think of gently slapping the snow rather than karate chopping it.
post #5 of 8
Good idea, Donny.

Donny is a master in this stuff.
post #6 of 8
I love the funky snow at Loveland this time of year. Funky snow, is an opportunity for learning - to get better.

In PMTS, we learn the primary movements of skiing. Those primary movements work really well in the funky snow - and in bumps, and in powder, and on groomers, and anywhere else.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Interesting, I must have missed the movements I was taught by PSIA.

If I only had the opportunity to learn PMTS then I could manage to ski "all mountain".
post #8 of 8
Hey Rusty--

Next time you're up, let me show you some video of Phil and Steve Mahre skiing (almost) effortlessly through the most hideous breakable crust at Arapahoe Basin, several years ago. It's amazing! But it shows some very fundamental movements (no, SCSA, NOT "the" "primary movements"), some exaggerated, some subtle, performed with extraordinary balance and precision. They basically did exaggerated classic slalom turns, with very brief edgesets that broke through the crust late in each turn and a lot of air time between turns. That's all there is to it! (Yeah, right!) Here are a few random thoughts:

Keep 'em going the direction they're pointed when they're in the snow (or, conversely, pointed the direction they're going). If you have to turn them--which you probably will--get them OUT of the snow! But put them back down carefully, pointed the direction they're moving. Always work with both feet at the same time. NEVER try to stand on one foot while turning the other ("sequential movements")--because you just can't trust the platform you're standing on.

Don't rely too heavily on a pole plant either--you can't trust it! Turn your skis with your feet and legs and keep the upper body as still as possible.

You can't just "be" in balance--be prepared to FIGHT for it! Another advantage of getting your skis into the air between turns is that you can put them back down wherever they need to be to recover your balance. If you lose your balance with your skis down in the snow, caught in the crust, it's like getting your bicycle tire caught in the tracks of a railroad crossing--you're going down!

And of course, the fact is, you're probably going down anyway, more than once, if you ski a lot of that stuff. To get a good taste of breakable crust...you've got to eat some!

Remember--there are only two kinds of snow conditions: those that are GOOD. And those that are good FOR you!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
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